Deleting old posts, threads, & accounts

I was looking to delete some old posts of mine, but I see this option is disabled.

Is there no deleting of old posts, threads, or even one’s account?

If not, I’d like to request an alternative from our benevolent forum overloads.

Not sure why you can’t delete your own posts, but sure send a list (URLs).

I think it is a feature of Discourse that after a time you can’t delete because it ruins discussions when people do this. Same for editing.

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So, ruining discussions trumps privacy and freedom? I imagine that there is an option in Discourse to enable users to make their own decisions.

I don’t have a list, but I’d like to comb through some old posts and delete them on my own, in my own time, and of my own free will. How can we make that happen?

I have seen a similar themed discussion about control in the forum. I hope this doesn’t have to go in that direction.

Mods don’t have access to these controls. I’ll find out what the options are.

Thanks. Personally, I completely understand that books are hard to read when the pages are ripped out. That said, this isn’t a book, and I think people should be able to erase old posts and threads(without deleting others’ posts), rake over their tracks, and completely delete their accounts if they wish, especially since that feels a lot more like the spirit of SAFE.

I know where you are coming from, but on the other hand there are good reasons for leaving them up too for completeness of the record. People can still use the old threads for a useful reference. There’s another issue too: before your time I think, but there was a project which extracted plenty of coins from forum members, failed to deliver, started throwing around accusations, threatened to sue then begged to have their original posts deleted. We refused on the grounds that leaving them there is evidence of their fraudulent behaviour and a useful reminder not to trust everything on face value.

There’s also the possibility of old topics being updates with spam links, which has been a problem before.

This issue has come up before and 2 months was decided upon as a reasonable cutoff time for deleting posts on balance. However, as always, this is up for debate, perhaps it should be extended. We could take a vote on it

For now, as mentioned, the limit is 2 months. If you want to go through and point out older posts you want deleted we can do that, no problem.

With policies like this, I understand why people get frustrated. I don’t want to make a big deal about it since I really just wanted to get rid of some earlier posts with personal information and just have more control of my account in general, but I’m not particularly excited about the all or nothing proposition. At this point, I’m close to asking to have all my posts, threads, messages, account, etc. deleted. I’ve only had a very few number of negative interactions on the forum, but they seem to keep popping up around the same issues of data freedom/account control, etc. Sure, you might have eliminated some trolls, but I’m certain that a lot of important voices that could contribute keep their mouths shut or have simply become disenchanted with the people in the project…And sadly, maybe they threw out the baby with the bath water.

For the makers of discourse they were wanting a community type of forum.

I can see how conversations and topics can be ruined if someone can come along later (long time) and change their responses so that the others seem like utter dorks or malicious. The big broadband forum in Australia also do not allow people to modify or delete their posts after a small amount of time too and they wrote the software themselves. It is rather common practice.

Now if a user wishes to leave the forum and have their posts anonymised then that can be done through the forum UI by moderators.

If you want a particular post deleted then ask the moderators and if it doesn’t destroy the topic then we will usually delete it for you. Or change the contents .

Look I wasn’t supporting the discourse forum, just pointing out a few things. And not being able to modify or delete old posts annoys me too and I can also see the counter points too.

Won’t be long till SAFE is up and forums based on discourse are made.

BTW no forum software I know of (except maybe roll your own) actually deletes posts. The posts and edits still remain in the database. I say this not as a defence but a warning to consider when you join any forum.

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So…what’s the decision?

If you mean anonymising your account then just send a PM to @moderators and it should be done within 24 hours. Please do it this way so that all moderators can see the request and know one of us didn’t take this action alone and that we have a clear request to act on. I actually missed the request in your post.

The option for full deletion is not provided by the discourse software as far as I know. The only option is to anonymise your account as far as I know.

Which is why I took this as anonymising

The software UI says

Can’t delete all posts because the user has more than 15 posts.

Well, delete until there are 15 or less. I’m trying, but every 3 posts, I have to wait 50 seconds…and every time I respond to you, that’s a new post!

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And now I hit another limit…have to wait 21 hours to delete more posts…can’t this just be easier? I can’t even edit the post above to add this. Draconian as hell.

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The UI for users tells me that

Users can’t be deleted if they have posts. Delete all posts before trying to delete a user. (Posts older than 60 days old can’t be deleted.)

So I am unsure you will be able to delete all your posts eventually. Maybe anonymising maybe the only option.

I hope you read the advice that most major forum software never deletes the posts from its database, just tags the posts as deleted and not show them. At least in discourse we can remove all your ID from those posts and it will be unknown who posted them. (if you posted identifying info in the post then thats another issue.)

According to me your options are:

  • Message to the moderators a list of your old posts that you want to be deleted but can’t do anymore yourself. They will look at it on a post per post basis. This is not meant as a way to delete all your (‘deletable’) posts: too much work for the moderators to assess/filter. Certainly if a lot of people would ask this in the future.
  • Ask the moderators group to anonymize your account.